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Murray's victory hopes go down the toilet after Tsitsipas bathroom break

  • Published at 06:24 am August 31st, 2021
Britain's Andy Murray loses a point to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their 2021 US Open Tennis tournament men's singles first round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on Monday AFP

What upset Murray more than the timing was the length of a bathroom break taken by Tsitsipas which ran close to eight minutes, taking away any momentum the Scotsman had been building

Stefanos Tsitsipas used his bathroom break when nature called at the U.S. Open on Monday but opponent Andy Murray fumed about the lengthy disruption as his hopes of scoring an opening round upset went down the toilet.

Murray said he had been warned by his team to be prepared for disruptions such as a bathroom break or medical timeout if his third-seeded opponent saw the match slipping away. And if that was the Greek's plan it worked to perfection as a distracted Murray vented his opinion to the chair umpire, courtside officials and anyone else in earshot as Tsitsipas recovered to claim a 2-6 7-6(7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

"I think he's a brilliant player. I think he's great for the game but I have zero time for that stuff at all," said Murray, who left the court after a profanity laced rant to no one in particular. "I lost respect for him."

What upset Murray more than the timing was the length of a bathroom break which ran close to eight minutes, taking away any momentum the Scotsman had been building.

Tsitsipas also had a medical timeout to receive treatment on his left foot after dropping the third set.

After each break Murray grew more frustrated at officials for refusing to call the Greek on what he saw as stalling tactics.

Also Read: Osaka kicks off US Open title defence with straight sets win

"When you're playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down," said Murray. "It can't be coincidence that it's happening at those moments.

"It's just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match. I'm not saying I necessarily win that match ... but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks."

Currently there are no time limits on bathroom breaks and Tsitsipas said he had abided by regulations.

"I don't think I broke any rules," he said. "I'm playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine.

"If there's something that he has to tell me, we should speak the two of us to kind of understand what went wrong."

Murray, a member of the player council, said the issue of delay tactics comes up regularly and discussions have been held on ways to keep rules from being exploited.

"We speak about it all of the time," said Murray. "Some suggestions are if you take a medical timeout or a break before, let's say, my serve, that you forfeit the game.

"Maybe I'm being unreasonable. Maybe I'm over-reacting to something because I lost the match.

"But right now sitting here I feel like it's nonsense and they need to make a change because it's not good for the sport."

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